During State of the State speech, Green signs emergency proclamation to address homeless crisis
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In his first State of the State address Monday, Gov. Josh Green outlined his roadmap for the year ahead, putting a strong focus on affordable housing, economic diversification and lowering Hawaii’s high cost of living.
Among his key proposals:
- During the speech, Green signed an emergency proclamation on homelessness aimed at addressing the affordable housing shortage. He said the proclamation will streamline the construction of new housing and reduce red tape.
- He also pledged a $1 billion investment in housing, including to renovate public housing units, provide state rental subsidies for low-income families, and boosting affordable housing financing.
- The housing funding, which would require legislative approval, will also deliver a state match to the city’s affordable housing program to incentivize the creation of more affordable housing units in Honolulu.
- Green also unveiled a plan to lower taxes for working families, shifting tax brackets and doubling the standard deduction to $5,000 and the personal exemption to $2,288. He said under the plan, a family of four in every income bracket will see nearly $2,000 in reduced tax obligations.
- The plan also includes tax credits for teachers, renters and greater child care subsidies.
- Additionally, Green touched on economic redevelopment and tourism mitigation, adding that a climate change fund will be at least partly fed by visitor impact fees.
“Business as usual won’t work anymore,” he said, at the outset of his speech.
“Each day without action means another family forced to move to the mainland, another child sleeping on the street, another local business closing, and another precious natural resource put at risk.”
IN FULL: Watch Green’s full State of the State
Green has pledged to bring together private developers and philanthropists to build “thousands of new homes for Hawaii families” — in part, he said, by converting illegal vacation rentals into affordable housing.
Green is leading the state at a difficult time for many Hawaii families who are grappling with record-high inflation in a place where the cost of living is already the nation’s highest.
Other priorities he plans on taking on include eliminating “regressive” taxes on food and medicine, leading the nation in addressing climate change and addressing health disparities among Native Hawaiians.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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